Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gone From My Sight...

For the past 14 days I have watched students, colleagues and friends grieve over the sudden passing of two highly respected educators. Jim Letcher and Andy Kargel touched the lives of many, and their influence will be felt for years to come.

While struggling to put their lives in perspective, I was reminded of a poem that was read at the memorial service of a dear friend of mine several years ago. I hope others find as much peace in the poem as I have...

Gone From My Sight 

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. 

Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. 

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!" 

- Henry Van Dyke

In loving memory of:
James E. Letcher - November 7, 1953 to March 6, 2014
Andrew Jacob Kargel - April 6, 1979 to March 13, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Saline Hornet Football - Tradition Never Graduates!

This past Thursday, the Saline Hornet Football Program hosted the 2nd Annual Alumni & Friends night at the Pizza House in Ann Arbor. The event serves as an annual opportunity for the public to support the football program and to take a look at the program from the inside - listening to recent accomplishments and plans for future successes.

One highlight of the event this year was the attendance of former Hornet coaches Jack Crabtree, Ed Gall and David Phillips. From the late 70's until the late 90's, this trio turned a lot of boys into young men. Not coincidentally, they won a lot of football games along the way too!

As I caught up with them briefly, I reflected back upon the impact they have had in my life through the years. Not only did they teach me and my teammates the fundamentals of the game, they taught us the fundamentals of life.

Even though the game is now played on turf and the Hornet offense operates from the shotgun, often with 5 WR's, (a little different than "I Gee 56 Power") the same, traditional Hornet football logo that has adorned the helmet for over 30 years will never go away. While Coach Crabtree, Coach Gall and Coach Phillips have all retired from coaching football, the Hornet Football Program remains in good hands. Coach Palka and his staff have accomplished much in their first two years in Saline, and the future looks bright. In addition, as the parent of a current Saline Hornet football player, I could not be happier that my son and his teammates have coaches in their lives that they look up to and seek guidance from just as my teammates and I did. They too are learning football fundamentals and life lessons from our current staff, and I hope that they can continue to have the same type of positive relationships with their coaches that many of my teammates and I have for the past 30 years.

Saline Hornet Football - Tradition Never Graduates!